What we are reading: Episode 49

This week, let’s have a look at a book I’ve just finished called, “The heart of communication: how to really connect with an audience”.


The author is Rob Parsons, formerly director at “Executive Chairman of Care for the Family, a charity committed to strengthening family life and helping others who are hurting due to family breakdown.”

I’m going to be sparing in my comments here about the details of the book and why I read it. The reason for being brief here is because I will be using the book as the basis for the next series of Tuesday Teaching Tips beginning next Tuesday, 24th November 2020. If you want the detail, you can tune in to those when they come out week by week.

One of the reasons I picked up the book was because Rob Parsons has spoken extensively not only in a Christian context but also in the other side of his life – the business world.

I am aware of the fact that my approach to speaking can be blinkered. If I do not learn from the wider gamut of speaking contexts I fear I may miss concepts and techniques which might help me connect better with those to whom I speak.

Rob Parsons is entirely correct when he suggests that the heart of communication is our ability to connect. We are not simply people who share information, we are those who wish to connect with the deeper needs of those who listen to us.

Book Structure

You will see from the chapter list below, that our author nicely combines practicality with the motivation and deeper meaning of our attempts to communicate.

1 Find One Thing That Can Make a Difference

2 Your Talk: Credibility, Content and Soul

3 Remember You Are Talking to Ordinary People

4 How to Really Connect with an Audience

5 Discover the Power of Stories

6 Trade Length for Effectiveness

7 Create a Sense of Intimacy

8 Notes or No Notes?

9 Minimise Distractions

10 PowerPoint Pros and Cons

11 Sound Matters

12 Optimise the Seating

13 Learn to Handle Your Critics

14 The Music, a Little Humility and the Hardest Task of All – Ending!

As I mentioned earlier, I shall be recording a series of Teaching Tips based on his book starting next week. Tune in to those if you’d like to know more.

I think it’s a terrific little book. Deep but not complex. Packed with useful stuff but not long. I recommend it to any and everyone involved in public speaking.

Please add your comments on this week’s topic. We learn best when we learn in community.

Do you have a question about teaching the Bible? Is it theological, technical, practical? Send me your questions or suggestions. Here’s the email: malcolm@malcolmcox.org.

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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)

God bless, Malcolm